There are numerous cellphone manufacturers producing counterfeit or copies of mobile phones which usually appear very genuine but are of very low quality.
You should only buy a phone made by a trusted manufacturer and ensure that you check the phone’s specific model number, available colours, features, what software and hardware come included and if a warranty is offered.
It is important to do a little research before committing to purchase a phone.
Here are a few simple tips to help you identify whether a phone is genuine or fake:
First Check the following Basic Features;
- Check the spellings: they usually imitate the original brand, for example, Soniericsson, Nokla and Samsang
- Warranties: Always insist on 12 months warranty certificate from the handset manufacturer. Fake phones come with a shorter warranty period since counterfeiters cannot guarantee it will last.
- Check for the performance of the handset: Check memory, speed, as well as the quality of photos.
Checking the IMEI
Here are four steps the Communications Authority of Kenya gave which a consumer can follow and tell if their phone is genuine or not.
1. Dial *#06# on the mobile device to display its international mobile equipment identifier number (IMEI).
2. Copy that IMEI number and SMS it to 1555.
3. You will receive a response from CA displaying details about your phone, including the make and model.
4. If the details displayed on the reply SMS match with those of your phone (or the one you want to buy), then it is genuine. If they don’t, it is fake.
How iPhone users can identify a fake device
For iPhone users, you can identify if your device is fake by verifying your serial number.
You can get your device’s serial number either on your SIM card slot or by going to Settings>General>About
- Verify the serial number by visiting https://checkcoverage.apple.com.
- Next, enter the iPhone’s serial number into Apple’s warranty status
- It should display the model, warranty period, support status, and other information about the phone.
- If you see a message that says “We’re sorry, but this serial number is not valid,” your iPhone is likely not authentic.
Another step is by dialling ##786#
- Dial ##786# on your phone
- Click on View option.
- View option will take you to ‘Reconditioned Status’
- If it shows Yes that means your phone is refurbished otherwise it will show No.
How to Check Using IMEI for Android users
IMEI stands for International Mobile Equipment Identity. It is a 15-digit number and may be found in the packet of the mobile phone.
3 6 9 3 9 5 0 1 2 3 5 5 6 7 8
- If the seventh and eighth digits are 00 this indicates your cell phone is manufactured in Original Factory which ensures the best quality.
- If the seventh and eighth digits are 01 or 10 this indicates your cell phone is manufactured in Finland which is high quality.
- If the seventh and eighth digits are 13 this indicates your cell phone is assembled in Azerbaijan which is too bad. And it is also dangerous for health!
- If the seventh and eighth digits are 02 or 20 this indicates your cell phone is assembled in Emirates which is very poor quality. (NB: Some Indian sets have this number)
- If the seventh and eighth digits are either 03/30 04/40, this indicates your phone is made in China but its quality is good. But not good either as 00, 01 or 10.
- If the seventh and eighth digits are 05 or 50 this indicates your cell phone is manufactured either in Brazil or USA or Finland.
- If the seventh and eighth digits are 06 or 60 this indicates your cell phone is manufactured either in Hong Kong, or China or Mexico.
- If the seventh and eighth digits are 08 or 80 this indicates your cell phone is manufactured in Germany which is fair quality.